The wheelchair programme (Wheelchairs KZN) was established in 1998 to restore mobility and dignity for people with mobility problems, who were not able to access a wheelchair through the state services or able to afford to buy their own.
A wheelchair programme coordinator manages the programme, working closely with the COO and the board of OJA, the therapists, nurses and social workers within the KZN Department of Health, schools for learners with special needs, community health workers, community development workers and organisations that offer services by and to the disabled communities throughout KZN.
A database is kept up to date to ensure that people are not getting more than one wheelchair at a time – and that the wheelchairs are only replaced after a five-year period, which is the expected lifespan of an appropriate wheelchair (using the World Health Organisation’s description of an appropriate wheelchair, and in accordance with the United Nation’s Convention of the Rights of People with Disabilities).
The criteria to ensure the quality of wheelchairs purchased were established, which included that they were produced in South Africa. The specifications of the wheelchairs are consistent with those provided on the national wheelchair tender for the S.A. government, as this meant the wheelchairs could be maintained and repaired at the Department of Health repair sites, situated at the majority of the public hospitals in KZN, and ensured durability. This is also according to the donations policy for wheelchairs of the KZN Department of Health.
The wheelchair programme differs from the many others by keeping an up to date database of all our recipients and ensuring that the person with a mobility problem gets the correct size and type of wheelchair to ensure maximum seating and functional ability. To do this, regular training workshops for a variety of people (such as therapists, doctors, nurses, community health workers, wheelchairs users, family members – not excluding anyone interested, as programmes elsewhere in South Africa are doing) throughout the province of KZN about wheelchairs and seating are provided.
You might have seen wheelchairs with any of the following logos on them – all were donated through the OJA wheelchair programme in the last 22 years.